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What Are the Three Types of Car Insurance in Singapore?

types of car insurance singapore
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Car insurance in Singapore is mandatory, which means no matter how annoying shopping around for car insurance premiums may be, you’re going to need a car insurance plan if you wish to drive legally in the city state. But car insurance plans come in three different forms – Third Party Only, Third Party Fire and Theft and Comprehensive Car Insurance – and you’ll want to know the key differences between these types of car insurance premiums before you buy.

All car insurance plans – even cheaper premiums – cover third party property damage (i.e., damage to the other person’s motor vehicle if you have a car accident), but you might need to pay a higher car insurance premium to cover the likes of theft or fire damage. The same goes if you require personal accident cover or medical expenses cover in the event of a motor accident.

In this article, Loan Advisor reveals everything you need to know about car insurance in Singapore, helping you determine which one of the three types of car insurance coverage on offer best suits you.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Singapore?

The car insurance cost you’ll be expected to shell out when purchasing car insurance in Singapore will vary depending on several factors, including which of the three types of car insurance coverage available you choose to go with.

Most car insurance providers offer cheaper premiums on their Third Party Only policies than what you might need to pay for Comprehensive plans. Different car insurance companies charge different prices for their car insurance premiums, but generally, prices start at around $800 per annum for cheap premiums and can range anywhere up to $1,500 – or potentially even more – for a high-end insurance product.

Here are the key factors that influence car insurance premium costs:

1. Make, Model and Age of Your Car

The type of car insured will affect the overall cost of your insurance premium. Luxury cars, SUVs and vehicles with larger engine capacities will be more expensive to insure, while insuring a new car might be costlier than taking out a policy on an older model – unless the car is so old it’s began to rust away.

2. Car Usage

How often you use your vehicle – known as “car usage” – can also impact the cost of car insurance premiums. In most instances, a vehicle that is used less will attract cheaper premiums than a policy designed to cover heavy car usage.

3. Age, and Experienced vs Inexperienced Driver Status

Older and more experienced drivers usually enjoy cheaper premiums than young and inexperienced drivers, as under-30s are often deemed “high risk” by different car insurance companies.

4. Marital Status and Gender

Just as your age can affect what a car insurance company charges you, so can your gender and marital status. Oftentimes, insurers view married women as being more responsible drivers than unmarried men, for example.

5. History of Car Insurance Claims

Drivers who have made less car insurance claims in the past usually get to enjoy cheaper premiums. For every year that you drive claim-free, your insurance company will grant you a No Claim Discount (NCD), which will entitle you to discounts next time you take out a car insurance policy.

6. Certificate of Merit (COM) Status

Just as building up a No Claim Discount can save you money on car insurance, having no demerit points in the past three years can also gain you a small percentage discount with some car insurance companies (usually of around 5%).

auto mechanic checking car tyre pressure

Types of Car Insurance Plans at a Glance – From Third Party to Comprehensive Car Insurance

There are three main types of car insurance premiums available in Singapore, and each car insurance plan offers a different level of coverage to you as a driver.

The three types of policies available in Singapore right now are Third Party Only (TPO), Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive Car Insurance plans. Let’s review the key features of each one to help you decide which is the best fit.

What Are the Three Types of Car Insurance in Singapore?

1. Third Party Only (TPO) Car Insurance Plans – Best for Cheap and Basic Car Insurance Coverage

A Third Party Only or TPO car insurance plan offers the most basic car insurance coverage you need to drive legally in Singapore, and very little else. It’s usually the cheapest car insurance available, but if you cause a car accident, TPO will only cover third party property damage (i.e., other people’s expenses and not your own).

Best For: As no personal accident coverage or costs of repairing your own car are included, TPO car insurance policies are best used for basic coverage on used cars, but not so appropriate if you drive a luxury car and are worried about the financial risks of paying for your own damages.

2. Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT) Car Insurance – Best for Overseas Coverage and Extra Peace of Mind

In most senses, a Third Party Fire and Theft or TPFT car insurance plan is essentially the same as a TPO car insurance premium. That said, TPFT comes with added peace of mind in that it also covers your own car against fire or theft-related damage. This means car owners get partial, but not complete, cover for their own damages.

Best For: If you’re driving overseas or visiting places where fire and theft are common, a TPFT car insurance policy is a no-brainer. That said, car owners who want cover for collision related accidents, medical assistance and more might be better off with a comprehensive plan.

3. Comprehensive Car Insurance Plans – Best for Comprehensive Coverage and Additional Perks

A Comprehensive car insurance plan is the best – and usually most expensive – type of car insurance money can buy. You’ll get coverage for everything included with TPO car insurance or TPFT car insurance, but with other perks such as personal accident insurance, roadside assistance and cover for collision-related accidents thrown in, too. Third party death and injury coverage are also usually included.

Best For: If you own a luxury car or are worried about the high financial risks of collision related accidents, a Comprehensive Car Insurance Plan offers the most comprehensive coverage on the market. These plans are also a good fit if you’ve taken out a bank loan or car loan to buy your car.

Which Type of Car Insurance is Right for You – TPO, TPFT or Comprehensive Car Insurance?

While Comprehensive car insurance plans are the most expensive on the market, they undoubtedly offer the best and most comprehensive coverage for drivers, and are therefore likely to be the best fit for most circumstances – especially if you own a luxury car, or have taken out a bank loan or car loan to purchase your vehicle and are concerned about the high financial risks of defaulting on that loan.

Conversely, if you don’t expect heavy car usage over the course of your plan, own an older vehicle or will be insuring young and inexperienced drivers, taking out TPO car insurance could help you to secure lower premiums and pay less money up-front, making TPO the best fit. That said, you might wish to opt for TPFT car insurance if you are concerned about the financial risks of potential fire or theft damage to your car.

Best Car Insurance Plans in Singapore (2022)

Whether you’ve decided on a comprehensive plan, TPO or TPFT car insurance coverage, there are a lot of different car insurance products on the market, which means it’s important to compare car insurance premiums to get the best deal. Here are some of our favourite policies available right now:

Car Insurance Policy / Company Key Car Insurance Features Approximate Annual Cost Current Promotions Best For

NTUC Income Drivo

  • 24/7 road and medical assistance
  • $50 per day transport allowance when your car is being repaired
  • More than 30 authorised workshops available
  • Orange Force riders arriving at accident scenes any time of day

$1,005

No Claims Discount (NCD) protector for renewing customers

Emergency assistance (Orange force riders)

Singtel Car Protect

  • Singtel Car Protect always offers competitive premium prices
  • Quick and easy Singtel Car Protect applications
  • Personal accident benefits, including towing charges covered
  • Singtel Car Protect covers drivers and passengers insured up to $50,000

$835

Guaranteed $300 petrol voucher with any Singtel Car Protect insurance plan

Low-cost comprehensive plans

HLAS Car Protect 360

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Choose between several car workshops with reduced excess payment
  • Free car servicing, air con treatment and paint protection available with a 25% discount

$835

N/A

Flexibility with car workshop options

MSIG MotorMax / MotorMax Plus

  • More than 30 authorised workshops available
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Complimentary courtesy car or replacement car provided in the event of an accident
  • Car loan protection of up to $100,000 included with MotorMax Plus

$830

N/A

Value for money comprehensive plan

AIG

  • Collision-related accidents are covered at lower premiums
  • Third party property damage covered for up to $5,000,000
  • Unlimited coverage for third party death or injury
  • Adart your policy to pay lower premiums for over 30s, 35s, or 40s

$1,025

Easy switch and no documents required

Collision and personal accident benefits

Allianz

  • Complimentary courtesy car provided if your vehicle is involved in an accident
  • Lifetime repair warranty
  • Third party property damage, death, injury, and legal costs all covered
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Flexible car insurance excess

$855

N/A

Courtesy car coverage

Etiqa

  • Affordable inexperienced driver premiums
  • Low age limit for drivers
  • Free child seat coverage
  • Car insurance excess is adjustable
  • $50 per day transport allowance

$1,165

5% demerit-free additional discount (must be demerit-free for three years)

Young and inexperienced drivers

FWD

  • Overseas coverage at an affordable price
  • All drivers don’t necessarily need to be named on the policy
  • Replacement car or courtesy car included
  • $80 per day transport allowance

$920

Enjoy a 50% No Claim Discount guarantee for life

 

Overseas coverage

SingLife with Aviva

  • Special rates for NSmen, civil servants and young and inexperienced drivers
  • NCD protection with a lower NCD penalty than competitors
  • eCall assistance service included
  • More than 30 workshops nationwide

$1,060

N/A

Regular promotions and great rates

NTUC Income Drivo Electric

  • Specialist insurance plans for electric car owners
  • More than 11 different Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers covered

Prices on a case-by-case basis

N/A

Electric vehicle coverage

Tips to Get the Best Car Insurance Price, Coverage and Personal Accident Benefits

Which of the above car insurance products is the best fit for you will depend on a number of factors, including whether you drive luxury cars or used cars, and whether you require things like overseas coverage or a replacement car in the event of an accident. But regardless of your unique needs, there are a few things that all of us can do to secure cheaper insurance, such as:

  • Drive safely to rack up a good NCD record
  • Keep your credit score in good shape
  • Compare insurance products online using comparison sites
  • Keep an eye out for discounts and promotions
  • Increase the levels of “upfront excess payment required” when requesting a quote
  • Consider “pay per km” insurance
  • Compare products every year at the point of renewal instead of automatically renewing your policy with the same provider
Happy customer buying a new car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Car Insurance in Singapore

1. What Does “Excess” Mean in the Car Insurance World?

Every car insurance plan will have an excess – this refers to the upfront excess payment required that you will need to fork out in the event of making a claim. For example, if you put through a $5,000 claim on a policy with an upfront excess of $1,000, you’ll need to pay this $1,000 while your insurer will cover the remaining $4,000. Some companies may charge more for inexperienced driver excess, so watch out for this.

2. How Do I Make a Car Insurance Claim?

There are a number of important things you should do if you intend to make a car insurance claim. First, you should take as many photos of the accident and related damage as possible. Next, you should swap contact details with anybody else involved. Remember not to move the vehicle under any circumstances, and to submit and file your claim within 24 hours of the accident occurring.

3. What is NCD or “No Claim Discount” and How Does it Work?

No Claims Discount or “NCD” is a percentage discount some insurance companies will offer you if you’ve been driving for a certain number of years without processing any claims. You can build up multiple years’ NCD over time and discounts typically range anywhere from 10 to 50% depending on your NCD record.

4. Authorised Workshop vs Any Workshop – Which is Better?

Most insurers will want you to use “authorised” workshops to get your car repaired if it is involved in a collision and suffers damage. Some comprehensive plans may allow you to choose your own workshop – but this usually comes at an additional premium cost, so you should think carefully about how important this level of freedom is to you.

Luxury and new car owners might wish to pay more for this freedom, whereas if you own an older model, it might make more sense to save the upfront premium cost and stick with an authorised repairer instead.

5. What Happens if I Cancel My Car Insurance Policy or Sell My Motor Vehicle?

If you decide to sell your vehicle before your existing car insurance expires, you have a few options. Either you can cancel the policy and receive a partial refund, or you can put your insurance “on hold” and then transfer it over to your new car once you have purchased it (but only if your insurer offers this service).

Types of Car Insurance in Singapore – How to Find the Best Car Insurance Policies for You

With so many different types of car insurance on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect policy to suit you. But in reality, all you need to do is determine which type of cover is the best fit, carefully consider your needs and then compare the market to get the best deal. Don’t forget that:

  • There are three key types of car insurance to choose from – TPO, TPFT and Comprehensive coverage – all offering different levels of cover.
  • Anything from your gender, marital status, and vehicle usage to whether you drive a new car or used car can affect the cost of insurance – and there are lots of things you can do to get cheaper premiums.
  • Unless you take out a comprehensive car insurance plan, own damages to your own vehicle won’t be covered in the event of a collision.
  • Comparing the market carefully is always the best way to secure a good deal on the most suitable plan for you.

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